12 days in Japan Itinerary

12 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: San Francisco
Fly + Train:  15 h
1
Tokyo
— 3 nights
Train:  3 h 45 min
2
Nara
— 2 nights
Train:  2 h 30 min
3
Hiroshima
— 2 nights
Train:  1 h 45 min
4
Kyoto
— 2 nights
Train:  2 h 30 min
5
Tokyo
— 1 night
Train + Fly:  15 h
End: San Francisco

3
nights
Tokyo

Tokyo ©
Tokyo holds the status of most populous metropolitan area in the world--a fact you'll find tangible as you walk the bustling streets and explore its diverse neighborhoods and cultures.
Kick off your visit on the 21st (Sun): admire the natural beauty at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, shop like a local with Takeshita Street, then don't miss a visit to Meiji Jingu Shrine, and finally contemplate the long history of Tokyo Central Railway Station. Here are some ideas for day two: engage your brain at National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation Miraikan, explore the world behind art at Ghibli Museum Mitaka, then ponder the world of politics at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings, and finally don't miss a visit to Shibuya Crossing.

To see maps, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Tokyo road trip website.

San Francisco, USA to Tokyo is an approximately 15- hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or do a combination of flight and train. You'll lose 17 hours traveling from San Francisco to Tokyo due to the time zone difference. Traveling from San Francisco in June, expect Tokyo to be a bit warmer, temps between 79°F and 67°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Tue) so you can catch the train to Nara.

Things to do in Tokyo

Museums Neighborhoods Shopping

Side Trip

Ghibli Museum Mitaka
Find places to stay Jun 20 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Ghibli Museum Mitaka ©
Ghibli Museum Mitaka
Takeshita Street ©
Takeshita Street

2
nights
Nara

Nara ©
The country's first established capital, Nara houses some of the most storied buildings and natural attractions in Japan, with eight World Heritage Sites in total.
Start off your visit on the 23rd (Tue): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nigatsu-do Temple, then identify plant and animal life at Nara Park, then pause for some photo ops at Todai-ji Temple, and finally examine the collection at Todaiji Temple Cultural Center. On the 24th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: contemplate the long history of Byodoin, admire the striking features of Nara National Museum, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kasuga Grand Shrine, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kofuku-ji Temple, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Kofuku-ji Temple National Treasure Hall.

For traveler tips, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Nara trip planner.

Getting from Tokyo to Nara by train takes about 4 hours. Other options: drive; or fly. In June, daily temperatures in Nara can reach 81°F, while at night they dip to 72°F. On the 25th (Thu), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Nara

Historic Sites Parks Museums

Side Trip

Byodoin
Find places to stay Jun 23 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Nara Park ©
Nara Park
Todai-ji Temple ©
Todai-ji Temple
Kasuga Grand Shrine ©
Kasuga Grand Shrine

2
nights
Hiroshima

Hiroshima ©
Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
On the 25th (Thu), explore the historical opulence of Hiroshima Castle and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Miyajima. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: make a trip to Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima, see the interesting displays at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, and then contemplate the long history of Atomic Bomb Dome.

For other places to visit, maps, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Hiroshima trip itinerary website.

Traveling by train from Nara to Hiroshima takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and train. June in Hiroshima sees daily highs of 79°F and lows of 68°F at night. You'll have a few hours on the 27th (Sat) to wrap things up before traveling to Kyoto.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Museums Historic Sites Parks

Side Trip

Miyajima
Find places to stay Jun 25 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum ©
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima ©
Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima
Atomic Bomb Dome ©
Atomic Bomb Dome

2
nights
Kyoto

Kyoto ©
The national capital for over a thousand years, Kyoto retains much of the charm of old Japan, boasting numerous temples and shrines that seem completely untouched by the modern world.
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Sat): explore the world behind art at Hosomi Museum and then wander the streets of Gion. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 28th (Sun): steep yourself in history at Sanjusangendo Temple, get a taste of the local shopping with Nishiki Market Shopping District, then step into the grandiose world of Nijo Castle, and finally see the interesting displays at Kyoto International Manga Museum.

To find maps, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Kyoto route builder app.

You can take a train from Hiroshima to Kyoto in 2 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. In June, daytime highs in Kyoto are 81°F, while nighttime lows are 67°F. You will have some time to spend on the 29th (Mon) before leaving for Tokyo.

Things to do in Kyoto

Neighborhoods Museums Historic Sites
Find places to stay Jun 27 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Nijo Castle ©
Nijo Castle
Sanjusangendo Temple ©
Sanjusangendo Temple
Gion
Gion

1
night
Tokyo

Tokyo ©
On the 29th (Mon), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Senso-ji Temple and then take a stroll through Ginza. Keep things going the next day: take a stroll through Takeshita Street, then examine the collection at Edo-Tokyo Museum, and then explore the world behind art at Tokyo National Museum.

To see photos, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Tokyo day trip website.

You can take a train from Kyoto to Tokyo in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Tue) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Museums Neighborhoods Shopping
Find places to stay Jun 29 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Tokyo National Museum ©
Tokyo National Museum
Senso-ji Temple ©
Senso-ji Temple
Edo-Tokyo Museum ©
Edo-Tokyo Museum

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